By this time in my life I imagined I’d be making lots of music, touring the world and writing books. But instead, I am lying in bed with who knows what going on in my body, hardly able to function at times because of dizziness that doctors have no answers for. I’ve been stuck with needles more times than I can count, had test after test and spent money beyond what I even want to look at, to no avail. My hope wavers with varied degrees of exhaustion that I experience weekly depending on the severity. This situation has been going on, not for weeks or even months, but for years with this current episode being the longest and most unrelenting.
I cling to God for my very hope each moment and that hope I find is in His Word.
Isaiah 41: 10 “Fear not for I am with you. Be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you , I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
A scripture I have to believe just to get into the shower, some days.
I hesitate to share this blog because I’m a very private person and don’t want pity or sympathy, but, first, writing and reading is all I can seem to do these days, and, second, maybe what I write can help someone else. Even if it’s just for them to know they are not alone. I also hesitate because of the expectation I put on myself to be strong and Miss superChristian. Full of faith and power. Believe me, if faith and power was not in operation somewhere in my soul, I wouldn’t even be here right now, so I know that God is sustaining me and working all this together for my good. Satan, definitely has not won and will never win.
In all the years I have suffered with this situation,with many of my friends and co-workers aware, the greatest threat, in my opinion is not what is happening in my body, but what is happening in my mind. I have been in and out of hope, faith, and anger to the point of wanting to throw something. Questions galore and many other coping mechanisms. The greatest being, crying out to God and clinging to His promises and to His people for prayer and support. Rehearsing over and over in my mind what I could have done to prevent this. Feeling guilty because I can’t fully be there for my husband and family like I want to. Feeling the loss of freedom and being carefree in life. Missing being able to just do the dishes. Yes, believe it or not, I want to feel well so I can give my house a good cleaning.
All the things we take for granted and even complain about become wishful thinking when you deal with chronic illness or other conditions that make it impossible to function physically. Not to mention the meds they give you that turn you into a zombie, but without them, you can’t function.These and other thoughts are very normal in these situations, and of course, the other, more destructive ones the enemy tries to put there. Those are the ones that are most dangerous. Yes, I have them, no I don’t surrcomb to them. Because when hope starts to fade, faith has nothing to stand on and it becomes very difficult to overcome from day to day.
We are overcomers if we have faith in Christ, and yet, we have to walk it out in some of the most difficult situations. And many of you reading this have been through or are going through worse disappointments than me. You know what I’m talking about. But even in all these things, we are more than conquerers through Christ. And the strange thing is, although, I don’t feel like a conquerer in my body, my spirit is being renewed day by day. I feel stronger spiritually in the midst of what I am going through physically. Now, don’t get me wrong, I want this thing gone and gone yesterday! However, there is a spiritual consolation if I cling to Christ, and for that, I am grateful.
I don’t want to linger any longer in describing this physical ailment but mentioned it to set the stage for what I want to talk about. DISAPPOINTMENT. What do you do when life doesn’t work out how you had hoped or planned? You wanted children but you’ve been trying for years and still no children. You wanted to be married, financially stable or whatever yours is, just fill in the blank. Your spouse has gotten sick or worse, passed away, a child has gone terribly wayward and you’re at the end of your rope. There are millions of ways we are disappointed and just as many ways we use to cope with it. Some turn to alcohol, drugs, illicit activities and some “check out” emotionally and literally through suicide, leaving their families and loved ones to pick up the pieces. Giving up is tempting and easier than fighting, to be sure.
These things happen in Christian families also. And when they do, it seems even more devastating because God was supposed to fix it. He was supposed to stop the tragedy and why didn’t He? These are univeral questions in all of us – believers and non- believers alike- and no one in all the universe has been able to answer them to anyone’s satisfaction. I am not here to debate that but to share how I’ve dealt with disappointment with the hope it will encourage someone.
How do I deal with disappointment? I DEAL with! I face it head on! With tears and with all the anger that comes with it. It is a normal happening in our lives in varying degrees and if we don’t face it, it becomes a cruel adversary that sucks the life out of us and makes us bitter humans. If we don’t swallow the whole of it as it is and grieve its loss, it will swallow US whole. I cry, I question, I pray, I stress and then I pray some more. It is a wrestling match with the enemy of my soul, who wants to steal my soul and all my hopes and dreams with it. But I have determined ahead of time that he cannot have my soul. That I will kick and bite and fight to my last breath before I surrender it and if that means facing my disappointments head on then so be it.
My twins sons are professional wrestlers and when they go out to meet their opponent in the ring, they are fully prepared. They have studied him and seen him in action in other matches. They have sized him up and prepare themselves to meet him head on. They step into that ring not knowing the outcome but fully ready to face him and give the all of themselves to overcome him. They leave everything in the ring!!
This is the same way we must face disappointment. We can’t give it more power than it deserves or warrents. I am not minimizing our disappointments because many are devastating, but there is something more devastating than our initial loss in the disappointment and that is the loss that comes when we let it swallow us alive and all the years that follow. I have lived that loss and it is far greater and, believe me, more painful.
I have wasted countless hours asking “why”. I don’t do it anymore. It is a thief of my life and energy. There may never be a “why”, or when the dust settles, that answer may be gleaming like a neon sign, though for the time being, elusive. Whatever the case, it is a waste of energy to ask “why”. I discovered, in the Hebrew, the middle letter of the word “why” means chaos! That is what I found in asking “why”. Nothing but chaos!
Facing our disappointment is to acknowledge it and then acknowledge God in it.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3: 5-6
“God I don’t know what is going to happen and I am hurting but I will cling to you and trust you in this and you will guide me through it. “
Notice, we must go through to get out..
” Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shallow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me…” Psalm 23
The most assuring answer I have found in facing my disappointments is that God is trustworthy. He says none who trust in Him will be ashamed. He is a Sustainer through the worse disappointment but not only that, He is a recompensing God. He will give us double for our suffering.
” And after we have suffered a while, He will perfect, establish, strengthen and settle us.” 1 Peter 5:10.
And THAT, dear friends, is the promise I cling to.
Let Christ be glorified in all!